Gadamer against Cartesian epistemology

Document Type : Original Article


Assistant professor, Department of contemporary intercultural philosophy, Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran. Iran.



Descartes found the main basis of modern thought. As a critic of modern thought, Gadamer has a critical approach to Descartes' philosophy. If we don't pay attention to this point, we can't understand many themes of Gadamer's philosophy. Descartes' epistemology is the origin of the idea of absolute human reason in the history of modern philosophy, from its perspective, one can achieve universal and certain knowledge and truth. Gadamer's thoughts on understanding and truth criticize this idea, i.e. this Cartesian approach in modern epistemology. Gadamer's criticism of the Cartesian approach of modern epistemology targets the foundations of Descartes' philosophy; e.g. the concept of absolute reason, foundationalism, certainty, and denying the validity of tradition. Here we will examine Gadamer's critical approach to these Cartesian themes and then we will try to ask the Cartesian problem of validity and epistemological justification from Gadamer and examine the possible answer derived from his works.


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